Category Archives: new music

The Benjy Davis Project “Still Sweet”

Over the weekend a few friends and I headed to Charlotte, NC for a much needed reprieve from NYC. While there, we checked out a pretty sweet roster of singer-song writers at The Evening Muse in downtown Charlotte. Among the performers was The Benjy Davis Project, led by, Benjy Davis (go figure!).

You can check out the full recap of The Benjy Davis Project set as well as Tony Lucca’s (love this man!) at my music site: The Round Table. But, I wanted to share that I picked up the group’s latest cd, Dust, at the show and I’m obsessed with it, especially this one song called “Still Sweet.” Why you ask? Well, because of this perfect little verse:

Just because we had some good times, doesn’t mean I miss them
I’ve been seeing blue skies every day
But I guess the truth of the matter is that I’ve been madder at you than you’ve been at me
I’m still bitter
And you’re still sweet

Um… can we say perfection? Well, almost perfect, I can’t say that you’re “still sweet,” but I’m most definitely still bitter. Listen to the full track below.

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NYC: Sara Bareilles & Tony Lucca…

Wanted to share my recent recap of Tony Lucca and Sara Bareillies performance from last night. Be sure to stop by The Round Table to share your thoughts/comments….


Last night Sara Bareillies brought her “Gravity” tour to New York City’s famed Joe’s Pub for the second show of a three set series. Joe’s Pub is an NYC gem of a venue for music lovers looking to experience a live show in an intimate setting. Bareilles’ stage decor embraced the intimate theme as it resembled a cozy living room, which only enhanced her stripped down, acoustic performance.

I’ve seen Sara Bareillies perform once before at Irving Plaza, but I left that show feeling a bit underwhelmed by her, in hindsight now seeing her at Joe’s, I realize that the Irving Plaza venue didn’t do her much justice.

Bareilles took to the stage around 8p and immediately launched into witty stage banter with the crowd and encouraged a very interactive environment – asking fans to sing along, dance, clap, or just shout things at her – but “no throwing objects, because it hurts.” Bareilles said she liked intimate venues and often treats them as an episode of VH1’s Storytellers, which the crowd got a kick out of. She then talked about feeling guilty for recycling the same jokes from the night before and vowed to give us something different — then launched into a humorous ad-lib teaser of “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor with the help of her immensely talented percussionist (and vocalist) Joshua Day.

Though Bareilles performed the staples of her debut album Little Voice like “Bottle it Up,” “Love Song,” “Vegas,” and “Come Round Soon,” she gave these tracks a fresh twist by re-arranging them to fit with her acoustic backing of guitar player, double bass player, and percussionist as she switched from piano to guitar on occasion. She also mixed in some new material she’s been working on, which has a lot of promise. I’m especially excited for “Gonna Get Over You,” which as Bareilles described it is a song about “depression — which is best encased in a happy sound beat.” Um…I know, right up my alley! My second favorite moment was Bareilles closing out the show with “Gravity” accompanied by herself on piano – absolutely break-taking, no one moved through out the song.

Last night I left with a new respect for Sara Bareillies, realizing she is a true talent. It’s hard to gauge a performer these days because let’s face it – it’s way too easy to make anyone sound good in a recording studio. The true test is seeing someone perform in an acoustic setting – and Sara Bareilles proved she has both the talent as a song-writer and the chops as a singer to play in the big leagues. She’s also pretty wise for selecting Tony Lucca as an opener for her tour.

I’ve talked about Tony in the past quite a bit – so you know how much I adore this man. He’s a true true talent that is deserving of mass attention. I’m thinking he won over quite a few Sara Bareilles fans last night at the show with his inspired performance. Typically a love song kinda guy, Tony went for a more politically fueled performance while working out some new material as well, including “True Story,” which he was stoked is getting spun on Sirius Radio Coffee Shop channel. Thankfully, f he also managed to squeeze in two of my favorite tracks from his older catalogue: “Melancholy Collar,” “Death of Me” and “Pretty Things.”

You can view pictures and clips of last night’s performances at my Flickr page. Set lists below as well as video clips.

Sara Bareillies:
Goodbye Song
Fairytale (aka “Feminist anthem”)
One Sweet Love
Come Round Soon
Vegas
Bottle it Up
Love Song
Gonna Get Over You
Many the Miles (aka “many the shit”)
Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For (U2 cover)
Gravity (solo on piano)

Tony Lucca:
Melancholoy Collar
Close Enough
Giving It All Away
I Can, I Will, I Do
True Story
Death of Me
Pretty Things

Lykke Li “Can I Kick It?”

Lykke Li, yes you can!

Check out this pint size singer cover Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It” into Lou Reed’s “Walking on the Wild Side.” Love her. Peep the new video for “Tonight” at the Round Table.

Britney Brings The Circus…

tt4bhaiFull disclosure – I was never a Britney fan. I mean, I’m a pop music fan, so I guess in some respect I could appreciate Britney Spears in her hay-day, but still, I never owned a CD. I can’t tell you how many arguments I had with die-hard fans back when predicting her over-saturation in the media would eventually lead to her downfall. Rather than sit back and say “I told you so,” instead I felt a tad bit guilty because being a pop music fan, I fed into that demise. We’ve watched the rise of Britney, the fall, and of course as she hit rock bottom only to come full circle to potential rise again.

We all know she’s never been a vocal superstar, heck, most days she’s lucky if she can actually lip-sync properly to her own tracks. So what do I find appealing about her? She’s an entertainer. Good, bad or indifferent, she has entertained us since ’98 no questions asked. Like the perfect toy only to be tossed aside when something more shiny and new came around. We built her up, only to break her down¬† and once the guilt became too much (even for us masochists) we found a way to slowly put the pieces together again.

Part of our repentance is to cheer Britney on as she gears up for one of her (more) anticipated album releases in “Circus.” Yup, it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek realizing that for the most part, Britney is willing to laugh along with us with Larry Rudolph, long time manager playing ringleader. “Circus” is another all-star list of producers from Bloodshy¬† & Avant to Danja and of course pop impresario Max Martin aka the man who brought us “Hit Me Baby One More Time.” What’s the difference this time around? Well, it seems Britney is an active participant in the process, not a passive one like she was with “Blackout.”

So far, “Circus” delivers. It’s along the lines of what we’ve come to expect from Britney as far as sound up-beat tracks about wanting to dance (in various forms), but at least she is present in the songs – not just incoherently ad-libing her way through. Needless to say, I’m pretty pumped for the album’s release – more so for the upcoming MTV “documentary.” Just wish she’d begin it with a throwback to “You think you know, but you have no idea….”

Be sure to check out “Circus” – streaming now at Imeem.